I think it’s safe to say, judging by the Facebook streams I’ve read, that users aren’t entirely convinced about the new Facebook changes… Members are taking full advantage of the social media platform to state their opinions, mostly that the changes are irritating, unnecessary and a rather transparent attempt at sidelining Google+. But if you look beyond an annoying sidebar and more altered security settings, the networking site is making changes to their media sharing options, and it looks good.
It’s now possible to sign up as a beta user for Facebook Timeline, a whole new format for your profile, which includes multimedia sharing, an embedded Spotify music player, Netflix lineup and Places map, as well as a potential host of other more visual-based app designs, including news streams from the Guardian and Independent newspapers. You can watch the Timeline introductory video and have a look at the potential layout here, and we have to say it does come across as kind of pretty.
Founder Mark Zuckerberg’s goal, he says, was to provide users with an audio-visual timeline of their life and encourage them to share the media they are interested in. If you allow it via your privacy settings, friends will be able to listen to the same music you are, see what films you’ve watched recently, scroll through your photo galleries and even follow your latest run route (and give you a virtual high five for completing it). Zuckerberg’s soundbite describes the experience as, um: “real time serendipity.” Ok then, Mark.
What most people will want to know, though, is how intuitive the new system is – how easy it is to set limits on how widely your information is shared, or change your privacy settings? Will there be a limit on music streaming if you don’t have a premium Spotify account (as free users are now limited to just 10 hours of listening pleasure per month)? Will there be ads? No doubt there will be an outcry to return to ‘old Facebook’ much like there was when ‘new Twitter’ was rolled out (really, people? It’s not that bad…), but on the face of it, Facebook Timeline looks like an interesting development in the social mogul’s lifespan.